Back in November, 2012 we brought you the story of Byron Smith (above), a 65-year-old Minnesota man who shot two teenagers who had broken into his home. Though the teens were there illegally, the way he killed them seemed well beyond what could reasonably be termed self-defense, and he was charged with murder. (In particular, he shot the girl in the legs with a Mini-14 as she came down the stairs into the basement, then after she fell, shot her several times in the chest with a .22 revolver, and then one final shot under her chin, which he described as “a good clean finishing shot.”) During his trial, the prosecutors argued he laid in wait . . .
with the specific intention of killing the teens, comparing the setup to the kills to a deer stand. Today, a jury took less than three hours to reject his claim of self defense and find him guilty of two counts each of first and second degree murder. He was immediately sentenced to life without parole, and his attorney said he would appeal.
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to illegally building an assault rifle [their words, put down your pitchforks]. He is the first of 20 sheriff’s officials charged or indicted since December to reach an agreement. Richard White Piquette admitted that he manufactured a Noveske Rifleworks N-4 .223-caliber rifle with an eight-inch barrel. He could be on the hook for as much as 10 years on that charge. He also admitted possessing a shotgun (Ithaca Model 37) that had been stolen from the Sheriff’s Department and three other assault weapons (a 7.62×51 FN-FAL, a 5.56×45 Daniel Defense AR-15, and a Saiga 7.62×39) with pistol grips but without bullet buttons, thus banned under California law. He was not charged for possession of those weapons, and a separate charge of possessing an unregistered SBR will be dropped. Also part of the agreement was a requirement that Piquette resign from the Sheriff’s Department, where he’s worked since 2008. The charges arose during an FBI probe of brutality and other misconduct in the county’s jail system that saw indictments handed down against 19 other individuals.
With the recent changes in Illinois law regarding concealed carry, there’s been a lot of interest in the classes required to obtain the carry permits. It’s no great surprise that much of the initial interest came from men, but according to Brian Kossof, founder and president of Concealed Carry of Illinois, that interest level has shifted rather dramatically to include a large number of women and seniors. He notes that many of the women came with a female friend or accompanied their boyfriends or husbands, but seniors frequently attend on their own, or with a younger family member like a son or daughter. He says that women and seniors seem, on average, to be less interested in actually carrying a gun, and more concerned with learning about gun laws and gun safety. It’s not so much about the everyday aspect, but about having a basic level of knowledge so that they can safely handle a gun and protect themselves should the need arise.
Colion Noir doesn’t like being profiled. I’m sure he’s not alone. I’ve noted before that just because I’m in a gun store looking at guns doesn’t mean I want to listen to the guy behind (or in front of) the counter rant about Obama or “Messcans” or anything else, for that matter. Mostly I’d just like him to get his fat carcass out of my way so I can see the shiny things.
Richard Ryan has a slow-motion torture test of a Samsung Gear2 Smartwatch, but instead of his customary Barrett .50, he uses a handgun with “Desert Eagle point 5-0 written on the side.”
As always, hi-res only improves the experience.